The Nazi Olympics: African-American Athletes (Part 2)

The Nazi Olympics: African-American Athletes (Part 2)

ANNOUNCER: And the Games are on. Here in the
semifinal heat of the 100-meter dash Movietone’s camera catches the blinding speed of Jesse
Owens cracking the world record in the incredible time of ten and two-tenth seconds. MARTY GLICKMAN: The myth of Nazi Aryan supremacy
was smashed to smithereens by the great non-Aryan athletes. Black athletes won the 100, the
200, the 400, the 800, the long jump, the high jump. It certain proved that this Aryan
business of supremacy was ridiculous. These were non-Aryans winning the most important
events. JEREMY SCHAAP: Seeing Jesse Owens, it was
almost impossible not to cheer for him, because what you were witnessing was as close to perfection
as you or anyone else would ever see. If Jesse Owens had gone to the Games of the 11th Olympiad
in 1936 in Berlin and had just won his 4 gold medals in those four events, the 100 meter,
the 200 meters, the 4×100 meter relay and the broad jump, it would have been one of
the most spectacular achievements in the history of sports and certainly in the history of
the Olympic Games. To have done so as an African-American, in Hitler’s capital, at a time when the Third
Reich was ascendant, makes what he did, I think, arguably the most impressive feat in
the history of sports. The Nazis weren’t stupid. People labor under this misimpression that
the African-Americans, the eight of them on the U.S. Olympic track and field team, were
winning, that that was somehow this incredible insult to the Third Reich. No one was surprised
when John Woodruff and Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe and Cornelius Johnson and Dave Albritton
and Archie Williams and Jimmy LuValle ended up dominating the competition. They had been
running times and jumping distances that could have convinced even a layman of their superiority.
That was apparent to everyone. [music] JOHN WOODRUFF: You’re up on the stand, and
they’re playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” for all the Americans. Then they had young
girls that came over and the girls presented the medal. It kind of does something to you.
We came to New York and they had a big parade for us. But I can’t recall, after winning
the Olympics, that it opened any particular doors. Now I’m sure many of the white Olympians
were made offers, very fine offers, but I can’t recall any of the black Olympians
making any great offers. Now Jesse did pretty well, he got in public relations work, but
he never had any really big jobs, you know. He ran against racehorses, you may have heard
of him running against a racehorse, he did a number of things in order to try and make
a living for his family. When I came back to the University of Pittsburgh, they had
the university hall of fame. They made the hall of fame but I didn’t make it, in spite
of the gold medal that I’d won and bringing the school international recognition. So that
let me know just what the situation was. Things hadn’t changed. [music] DR. CLAYBORNE CARSON: It’s a gradual change;
it’s not something that has completely changed even now. But I think the importance of the
1936 Olympics is that it was the starting point for a gradual process of bringing African-Americans
closer to the American mainstream. All the way through the 30s, and 40s, and 50s, and
into the 60s when you always saw these news articles about the first black person to do
this or that. It was a source of pride and it was a source of hope because there was
always going to be the second, and the third, and the fourth, and those people would have
a much easier time because the first had opened the door. JESSE OWENS: The competition was grand and
we’re very glad to have come out on top. Thank you very kindly.

26 Replies to “The Nazi Olympics: African-American Athletes (Part 2)”

  1. Germany won more gold medals than any other single country during 1936 Olympics (33 to America's 24).
    Also, the German spectators cheered Jesse Owens when he competed, and Owens was recorded as having said Hitler waved at him, so you can't really blame Germany for "racism", given that they received black American athletes better than America. That Hitler "snubbed" Owens is a myth.

  2. "When I passed the Chancellor he arose, waved his hand at me, and I waved back at him. I think the writers showed bad taste in criticizing the man of the hour in Germany." – Jesse Owens
    Point of posting quote: When "historians" paint black victories at the Olympics as a U.S. win against foreign racism and non-Americans, they only cover up the truth that "racist" Germans and Hitler himself treated a black athlete with more dignity than America did. If you disagree, reply and explain why.

  3. Soldiers of the Third Reich also recruited and fought alongside black soldiers in North Africa during WWII.
    Regardless of your diversion away from the topic to "holocaustio ad absurdum", the fact is that this portrayal of black/American defeat of the Third Reich at the Olympics is just hypocritical propaganda.

  4. Yeah, you're right. But it's just the fact that an "unarian" dude beat them. I'm sure they didn't feel a whole that superior after that defeat. That would've been fun to watch, the expresion on their faces when an African-American beat one of their athletes. Haha, not so superior are they?

  5. You can have an idea of "ARIANS RACE" observing actually people from Afganistan, before Christ migrated to India and destroyd by Alexander the great in the battle of river Istaspe, few years later than Gaugamela battle agaisnt persians. These are the arians! Indians from Afganistan!

  6. so if ur not good at sports then automaticly u cant be superior ?? i dont agree maybe the aryan race isnt the finest at world records but thats something rare only 1 in a billion get so i dont think it has to do with anything.

  7. @fobalis WHAT?! haha! you said that is a fact?! C'mon you are so wrong! Owens said when he was asked that he never received a handshake from Hitler, but that didn't matter "because he didn't want one" I mean it's part of my history, so I think I know a little bit…don't let your mind be oubliterated by nazi idiology…bye! Deutschland für immer!

  8. I'm not African American but I am an American and I will say… Respect and honor for them, cause when they set their mind there's no one stopping u brothers. From a fellow American!!!

  9. We, human being, are here in this planet as a big experience of God, He wants to see who will be choosen to live in a superior dimension and there is no difference between races which may cause an impact in His choice, we are the same in the beginning and at the end !

  10. wow what stupid comments. germany might treat other races better than america now, its because they are trying to overcome a gruesome past…and we might be the most racist because its hard to deal with all races but we do it at least……its hard but we try

  11. This makes me sad to hear from someone who went through all of this 1st hand how horribly black olympic champions were treated in America.

  12. No black has white skin unless that person is an albino and in that case have natural blond hair. If not then most likely that person is mixed.

  13. Great video! I used it to illustrate our article on “History: July 16, 1862: Eight Great Black American Men” at

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